Tarleton State coach Cary Fowler preached a message of unfinished business at the Lone Star Conference football media day Tuesday in Carrollton.
The Texans were 7-3 in 2013 and claimed the program’s third conference title in history, but they were the lone conference champion to be left out of the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2013. Fowler said that the team’s expectations are set squarely on reaching the playoffs.
“What does a Lone Star Conference championship mean to us? Nothing,” Fowler said. “We won it last year and we didn’t even get into the national playoffs. Our expectation is to get into the national tournament and get the opportunity to play for a national championship. So we just have to take it one game at a time and get as many wins as we can to get into the tournament.”
The Texans, who with a 5-1 record shared the 2013 title with Eastern New Mexico, were tabbed as favorites in the conference’s preseason poll after losing just seven starters from last year’s team.
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“It’s probably where we should be rated,” Fowler said. “Between my offense, defense and special teams we have over 425 starts combined together. Those guys have been playing for a long time and have been beat in a tough way.”
Fowler said that if he has to do something more to motivate his players then they are in the wrong business. That message echoed through defensive leader Charles Moore.
“To be able to come back one more year I am very fortunate,” Moore, a defensive back, said. “I saw last year with our seniors that they thought they were going to have another game. I saw the pain that it brought them, and it made me understand that every game is important, because you never know which game is going to be your last.”
Moore, who played in high school at Carrollton Turner, was named second-team all-conference in 2013.
“It is important to us to be at the top of the conference at the end of the season, but we are further than that,” Moore said. “We want to win a national championship, so we have to get into the playoffs and take it from there.”
The Texans open against West Texas A&M, the league’s No. 2 team in the preseason poll, on Sept. 13 in Canyon before facing Florida Tech in the LSC Football Festival at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 20.